David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 8 (4):527-550 (2009)
The term “social cognition” can be construed in different ways. On the one hand, it can refer to the cognitive faculties involved in social activities, defined simply as situations where two or more individuals interact. On this view, social systems would consist of interactions between autonomous individuals; these interactions form higher-level autonomous domains not reducible to individual actions. A contrasting, alternative view is based on a much stronger theoretical definition of a truly social domain, which is always defined by a set of structural norms; moreover, these social structures are not only a set of constraints, but actually constitute the possibility of enacting worlds that would just not exist without them. This view emphasises the heteronomy of individuals who abide by norms that are impersonal, culturally inherited and to a large extent independent of the individuals. Human beings are socialised through and through; consequently, all human cognition is social cognition. The article argues for this second position. Finally, it appears that fully blown autonomy actually requires heteronomy. It is the acceptance of the constraints of social structures that enables individuals to enter new realms of common meaningfulness. The emergence of social life marks a crucial step in the evolution of cognition; so that at some evolutionary point human cognition cannot but be social cognition.
|Keywords||Social cognition Autonomy Heteronomy Normativity|
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Citations of this work BETA
Tom Froese & Ezequiel A. Di Paolo (2009). Sociality and the Life–Mind Continuity Thesis. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 8 (4):439-463.
Giovanna Colombetti & Steve Torrance (2009). Emotion and Ethics: An Inter-(En)Active Approach. [REVIEW] Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 8 (4):505-526.
Itay Shani (2010). Mind Stuffed with Red Herrings: Why William James’ Critique of the Mind-Stuff Theory Does Not Substantiate a Combination Problem for Panpsychism. [REVIEW] Acta Analytica 25 (4):413-434.
Pierre Steiner (2013). The Delocalized Mind. Judgements, Vehicles, and Persons. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 2013 (3):1-24.
Elena Cuffari (2012). Gestural Sense-Making: Hand Gestures as Intersubjective Linguistic Enactments. [REVIEW] Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 11 (4):599-622.
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